DS Question #6 - Show Time!

by Kathryn Leigh Scott & Jim Pierson

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:23 am

Pg. 68 The run-through, commonly called the “stumble-through”, started at 1:15. Still in robes and sneakers, we tried to get through without stopping the flow of action. Our chances of accomplishing this were next to nil. There was also a certain amount of horsing around: rude notes found in drawers, short-sheeted beds, silly things hanging in closets or stuffed in coffins. Normally everything went wrong and any attempt at concentrating on performances was pointless. The notion that we’d have any sort of show to tape in two hours seemed very remote.

We all have different ways of working, and those differences were always most evident during dress rehearsal. For some it was the last chance to explore, to try another choice before the “real thing”. Others paced themselves carefully: no real tears, no full-throttle screams until show time. Some actors were completely made up and costumed, requiring only a dusting of powder before air time, while others purposely left in curlers or kept tissues inside their collars as if to keep themselves in a rehearsal state of mind. Some actors rehearse everything minutely; their performance grows steadily, layer by layer, and nothing is left to chance. Others, wary of repetition, simply mark their moves, valuing the freshness and spontaneity of the on-air moment. Still others internalize everything, living the character throughout the day so the work unfolds naturally and seamlessly.


Comment on how the show was filmed and the different rehearsal/preparation techniques used among the actors. Can you imagine the chaos before the taping starts! Can you think of any other profession that works this way?
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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:24 pm

Well, of course, I thought of Johnny and how he seems to become the character that he is playing while he is filming. But obviously, not everyone does that.

I think that the way Johnny does it makes total sense. To me, that is the true way to make a character come alive. And I can kind of relate to it. When I read a book, I can become so absorbed in the story that it permeates all aspects of my life during the time that I am reading it and discussing it.

Other professions that work this way? A tough question, but here's one....a teacher. A teacher needs to prepare lessons and prepare lectures, and probably rehearses a bit prior to the lectures. But maybe not, after so many years of teaching. At that point it probably becomes natural.
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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:55 pm

Live theater isn't much different. Of course, that's what live television really was. You have to be able to snap into and out of character, change clothes just off stage in record time and avoid all of the stage props, weights, tech people, crews, moving scenery and all in the dark between scene changes. :freaked: With live TV, you just add cameras to all of that nonsense...oh, and be sure to take off the body mic while changing your clothes and avoid talking, because you never know when the sound guy will turn it on.

When I worked at a newspaper and at a TV news station, it was very much like this.

Even though we had all day to put a newspaper together, most of the real work occurred within a 4-hour period late at night. However, the night staff was not the same as the day staff that planned the paper.

So a bunch of people would hold meetings all day to discuss what to put in the next day's paper and where, only to have them leave when it was time to make it happen. Once the actual stories arrived, some were found to be not as "front page worthy" as advertised, so a new 30-inch story, with cover art, had to be "found". The inside pages had to be redesigned and all the jumps had to be trimmed at different lengths.

Or, heaven forbid, actual news broke out in the evening and the whole paper layout would be scrapped and started over. Sometimes that would happen between the 1st edition and the 2nd edition (2 hours apart).

Imagine rehearsing a show in the morning with one cast and having a different cast performing the show at night. :hypnotic:

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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:34 pm

Well, that just makes my head spin. Good comparison, SnoopyDances
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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:14 pm

Can you think of any other profession that works this way?

My first thought was politics and politicians. :biggrin:

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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:29 pm

Good one, T! That definitely has the element of preparation and rehearsing involved, but at the same time has to involve last minute changes and spinning, just like a newspaper.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:03 pm

Sports came to my mind. More like team sports athletes in a clubhouse getting ready to take the field. So many of them are so superstitious and have to do get dressed just a certain way, sit in a certain place, talk don't talk, etc.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: DS Question #6 - Show Time!

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:59 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Sports came to my mind. More like team sports athletes in a clubhouse getting ready to take the field. So many of them are so superstitious and have to do get dressed just a certain way, sit in a certain place, talk don't talk, etc.

:highfive:
It doesn't stop in the clubhouse. Many are superstitious on the field, too.
Baseball players won't step on the chalk lines and many will adjust something, such as their batting gloves at the plate. Many will step in and out of the batter's box a certain number of times or take a specific number of practice swings. Pitchers often go through some ritual on the mound before throwing a pitch.
Nadal is another good one for rituals...he always bounces the tennis ball a specific number of times before he serves. And is always adjusting something: head band, wrist band, etc. Federer always changes rackets one game before new balls are brought out.

There are weird rituals in other sports, too, but these are the ones I watch most often.


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